Afternoon temperatures weren’t too conducive for extremely fast speeds, but that didn’t stop records from being broken during the first day of the second annual Indy Airstrip Attack presented by Shift-S3ctor and hosted by the Marion Municipal Airport.
Two records were bested early on Saturday. The event record of 238 miles per hour, set near the end of the second day last summer, fell when one of numerous Lamborghinis in Marion rocketed down the smooth, fast runway surface at the airport covering the half mile stretch with a top speed of over 243 mph.
Motorcycles, a new addition to this year’s event, saw the fastest half mile pass by anyone, anywhere when Ransom Holbrook of Bowling Green, Ky. topped 211 mph.
Shift-S3ctor co-founder Jason Huang couldn’t have been more pleased with day one of the California organization’s second trip to Grant County. He also thinks today the speeds will increase.
“For this event, today alone we have as many spectators as we did all of last year,” said Huang. “It’s a much bigger event and we’re going to continue to push for that and try to grow this event year after year.”
For those wanting to witness the speeds that could potentially climb to or above 250 miles per hour, it could be best to arrive early today, before the sun heats up the racing surface. Huang believes morning conditions could be conducive to a world-record setting speed.
The current world record of 255 mph was set just six weeks ago by a Nissan GTR in Pike’s Peak (Colo.) Airstrip Attack, and after a day of testing and tuning by some of the fastest race shops in the world, the potential for that record to fall in Marion stands.
“It’s usually like this. All our events are two days and the first day everyone is sort of dialing it in, trying to figure what the car likes, what the car doesn’t like and how it’s reacting to the altitude and the traction control for the surface,” Huang said. “It varies from event to event. Most of these guys spend day one figuring out what they need to do to make the car faster and that’s what we are seeing today. I think that if we’re going to a world record fall, it’s going to happen right when we open the doors at 9 a.m.”
While the Indy Airstrip Attack is all about seeing how fast cars can go, its also about having a lot of fun going fast while not necessarily competing to be one of the fastest cars in the show.
One local man, Jason Duggan, a maintenance technician at Walmart Distribution Center and technology coordinator for Paddock View Residential Home, Saturday was another opportunity to put a few miles on his 2013 Boss 302 Mustang.
Duggan said his car is 100 percent stock, and though he’s owned it for about four years, it only has 3,000 miles on it because he only breaks it out for special occasions. Saturday was one of those days, and his trap speed of 132 mph hours left him smiling at days end. He wasn’t totally certain but thinks it may be the only one in Marion, and its one of only about 4,000 in the world.
“I don’t get too competitive with it,” Duggan said. “I want to keep the car safe so there is a limit to how hard I’m going to push it. This is a fairly safe set up so I’m not too worried about getting out there and pushing the car.”
As special as his Duggan’s car is to him, he believes the Shift-S3ctor’s second trip into Marion provides a great opportunity and not just all for fun.
“This is quite a special thing that Marion has got going on. These events are few and far between,” he said. “A lot guys are driving halfway across the country to come here. It’s good for the local economy. It’s good for small businesses and it kind of puts Marion on the map a little bit. We’re very privileged to an event like this, especially with the organizers coming from California.
“Getting a big group of people like this together that have the same interest in cars – these guys are hardcore in racing,” he added. “There are lot of different subcultures in the car community its nice to get the go fast guys together to hang out, its very special. You’ve got the James Dean days where its all about hamburgers and hot dogs and looking at ’57 Chevys. This is whole different animal.
Both Huang and local organizer Jay Berry, also co-owner of Central Indiana Ethanol and developer of Ignite racing fuel, were both pleased by the turnout of both spectators and racers on Saturday.
For Berry in particular, he’s happy to see a lot of smiles on local faces.
“Just seeing the community support, the amount of people coming out and even the guys from out of state, everybody is having a great time out here,” said Berry. “Seeing the amount young people, really young and old, it’s just a family atmosphere. I think it’s good to show everybody in Marion – ‘Hey we’re back.’”